Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Sat 23 September
CANTERBURY 2–2 SURBITON
Scorers: Giselle Ansley 31-PS, 63-PS
Squad: Grace Lawes (GK); Giselle Ansley, Stephanie Addison, Sarah Haycroft (Capt), Georgie Twigg, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins.
Subs: Natalie Maclean 8″, Izzy Petter 8″, Darcy Bourne 9″, Adrienne Houle 13″, Ella Burnley 24″
Umpires: David Howell and Rebecca Woodcock
Surbiton Ladies drew their opening Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division match for the fifth season in a row after being held to a 2-2 draw with Canterbury on Saturday.
For the second season running, Surbiton were denied a 2-1 late due to a last minute equaliser. Last season Emma Trunks stole a point for Holcombe with a penalty corner, this time it was Grace v Grace as Canterbury’s Balsdon beat Surbiton’s Lawes from the penalty spot.
Lawes was one of three Surbiton debutants, joining Adrienne Houle and youngster Ella Burnley on their league debuts.
Surbiton came close to taking a fourth minute lead, Stephanie Addison falling to the floor whilst missing the goal with her shot, Darcy Bourne and Jo Hunter forced saves from Canterbury goalkeeper, Helen Fagg and Emily Atkinson was unlucky to carry the ball over Canterbury’s backline.
With captain, Sarah Haycroft also forcing a save from Fagg and Hunter sending an angled shot whistling past the right post, Surbiton seemed to be on course to take the lead from open play.
But the breakthrough didn’t come until four minutes before half time, Houle’s attacking run down the left wing and into the circle forcing Surbiton’s third penalty corner of the match.
The penalty corner resulted in the award of a penalty stroke, which last season’s leading Premier Division goalscorer, Giselle Ansley slotted past Fagg and against the backboard.
However, Canterbury were level before half time, an attack seeing the ball crossed towards the left post where Sarah Kerly finished to the delight of the home crowd, a minute before the interval.
In the second half, Surbiton once again failed to take full advantage of their position thanks to tight Canterbury marking. Canterbury also defended well from penalty corners, the visitors unable to convert any of their twelve awards.
Fagg made a spectacular save from Surbiton’s seventh corner, Ansley’s shot coming off the crossbar.
But with seven minutes remaining, history repeated itself, a penalty stroke being awarded as a result of the twelfth and final penalty corner after Ansley and Georgie Twigg combined.
Once again, Ansley’s calm finish was too quick for Fagg and Surbiton seemed to be on their way to their first win of the season.
But in the final minute, Canterbury were awarded the penalty stroke which Balsdon put away to earn the hosts a point.
Elsewhere, East Grinstead were held to a goalless draw by Holcombe, with Bowdon, reinforced with new signings goalkeeper Kirsty Mackay and Sam Quek winning 3-1 at the University of Birmingham.
Slough also opened their campaign with a 3-1 win over newly-promoted Buckingham. Clifton Robinsons, Surbiton’s opponents next week, beat Leicester 2-0 in Bristol.
Surbiton play Clifton Robinsons at 2 pm, followed by the Men’s clash with Sevenoaks at 6 pm as Sugden Road hosts the Big Event. Entry to the women’s match is free, but entry to the men’s game is £5.